15 designers' New Year resolutions for 2016

What have you got planned for 2016? Prepare to tackle a whole new year with these resolutions from top designers to inspire you.

The turkey's all gone and the Doctor Who Christmas special is but a memory, and with the calendar ticking over into 2016 it's time to think about getting back into work.

If you're happy with where you are, then great! But if you want to raise your game in 2016 and reach new heights, now's the perfect time to set yourself some goals. And if you need a little inspiration on the way to making 2016 your best year ever, we have just the thing for you.

We reached out to 15 leading designers to find out what their New Year resolutions for 2016 are, and they all delivered. Here are their plans for the next 12 months; see if they can galvanise you into giving your career a shot in the arm.

01. Lukas Haider: Focus on idea generation

I want to come to love and appreciate the idea-generation-phase more; to try out as much as I can in the first place and have the guts to discard and go back. To create only eye candy is good, but concept-driven eye candy is beyond measure. Only work done with both aspects fulfilled satisfies me and possesses the capability to last.
Since I want to leave some footprints in the industry I will definitely continue my path with this as a guide.

Lukas Haider is a multidisciplinary graphic designer based in Vienna, Austria.

02. Fredrik Öst: Deliver more on the rock n' roll side of things

We've always had the strategy to be extremely professional in terms of quality, delivery etc. And we know very well how to do this and it doesn't seem to deteriorate with age or experience. But we've also have the other side that is more lifestyle, pink lies, champagne etc. Rock n' roll, in other words.

It's what brings us a lot of clients these days and it's also a side that you need to push in order to not deteriorate. So if we are supposed to be rock n'roll I can't go home at 1am because I'm a bit tired. Rather order in a bottle of champagne and make people swing! Now, I actually have fewer problems with this at Snask but I'm sure as hell will be the one pushing everyone else the next year to fulfil our mission to represent the Snask lifestyle!

Fredrik Öst is the founder and creative director of Snask.

03. Ben Tallon: Speak to humans

It became achingly obvious by the end of the year that people are deaf to digital noise. I talked to an editor of a magazine I illustrate for, who told me she scraps 90% of emails, in particular, those who come from people she does not know. I've tried the 1000 strong blanket mail shot and it hasn't worked for me.

Put me in a pub, cafe, or an office reception, where I can take five minutes to talk to a human and the odds doing business are drastically heightened because we're both real to each other, the human beings behind the tiny email mugshot comes with personality and individuality, the things we require to connect with one another. I'm returning to the basic people skills that led to my first clients, seven years ago. No more analytics and informality. 2016 is about written letters, lunch time pints and boiling kettles.

Ben Tallon is an illustrator and art director.

04. Sabrina Smelko: Think ahead

Lately, the creative and social landscape of the industry seems repetitive to me — which has stunted me from creating just for the sake of it out of fear of being redundant. Next year, I'm caring less about what my current and former online presence and work says about me; less about what I've already done and what others have done and more about what my body of work and the collective impact I make will say about me when I'm 60 or 70 or 80. For me, 2016 will be more focused on thinking about the long game.

Sabrina Smelko is an award-winning Canadian illustrator and designer.

05. Verònica Fuerte: Work with great people

To work with people who have the same values and high standards that we do. Working with other people makes you better at what you do. You get to work on projects which, as a graphic designer, you otherwise wouldn't because you don't have the right experience or means. You have new ideas and see things in new ways and this is like oxygen for creativity.

Verònica Fuerte is a designer and one third of Hey studio.

Next page: five more designers' resolutions for 2016!